Cook this: Pastel ‘Gloria’ — guava paste and feta cheese pastries — from Colombiana

, Cook this: Pastel ‘Gloria’ — guava paste and feta cheese pastries — from Colombiana, The Evepost National News

‘I don’t know who Gloria is, but it’s a heavenly bite,’ says Mariana Velasquez

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Our cookbook of the week is Colombiana: A Rediscovery of Recipes and Rituals from the Soul of Colombia by Mariana Velásquez. Over the next two days, we’ll feature another recipe from the book and an interview with the author.

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To try another recipe from the book, check out: Roasted chicken and coriander empanadas.

Accompanied by a cup of coffee, pastel Gloria is a classic Colombian afternoon snack. “I don’t know who Gloria is, but it’s a heavenly bite,” says Mariana Velásquez of the popular laminated pastry.

The crisp, golden pockets are typically filled with layers of guava paste, cheese and arequipe (slow-cooked caramel, or dulce de leche; Velásquez includes recipes for both traditional and quick arequipe in Colombiana).

Thought to have Arabic origins, pastel Gloria is a staple in the South American country, especially in “cold-weather towns” — such as Velásquez’s native Bogotá — and the coffee region.

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Here, she uses store-bought puff pastry, making it a speedy roll-cut-fill-bake dessert. “It’s so delicious; it’s one of my favourite things,” says Velásquez. “And I added feta just to have a little bit more of a punch in taste — to add a little dimension to the flavour.”

, Cook this: Pastel ‘Gloria’ — guava paste and feta cheese pastries — from Colombiana, The Evepost National News
Colombiana: A Rediscovery of Recipes and Rituals from the Soul of Colombia by Mariana Velásquez. Photo by Harper Wave

PASTEL ‘GLORIA’

GUAVA PASTE & FETA CHEESE PASTRIES

1-lb (450-g) box frozen puff pastry sheets (my preferred brand is Dufour), thawed
All-purpose flour, for dusting
7 oz (200 g) guava or quince paste, cut into 16 squares, 1/8 x 1-inch thick (see note), or 1 cup marmalade of your choice
4 oz (115 g) feta cheese, patted dry and cut into 16 squares, 1/8 x 1-inch thick
1 egg, whisked
2 tbsp Demerara sugar

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

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Step 2

Unfold one of the puff pastry sheets, keeping the second one covered in the refrigerator. (The standard sheet size is an 8 x 8-inch square.) Dust the countertop with flour and roll out the pastry to a 12 x 12-inch square. Cut out 16 discs using a 3-inch round cutter or a drinking glass, and transfer the discs to one of the prepared baking sheets.

Step 3

Place one piece of guava paste stacked with one piece of cheese in the centre of half of the discs. Brush the surrounding outer rim with the egg wash and top with an empty disc. Press the edges with the tips of your fingers, brush with the egg wash, and sprinkle with the Demerara sugar.

Step 4

Transfer to the preheated oven and bake until puffed up and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

Step 5

Repeat with the remaining sheet. Serve warm.

, Cook this: Pastel ‘Gloria’ — guava paste and feta cheese pastries — from Colombiana, The Evepost National News

Makes: 16 pasteles

Note: Guava and quince paste can be very sticky. For easier cutting, lightly oil or spray your knife with cooking spray.

Recipe and image reprinted from Colombiana. Copyright 2021 by Mariana Velásquez. Photography by Gentl & Hyers. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins.

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